06 May, 2008

Who's this?

You're right. It's me, under a year old. I think I may be praying for a good life. Maybe I'm still praying.

This week, through a tin-gold combination of fallen hopes and serendipidy, I've found a temporary home in the country. I may be here for only a week, but I have to tell you it's going to be one glorious one. I am in deep country Nova Scotia, in a tiny town, well more of a village, near the sea, where it's so quiet, except for the passing cars, that I can be startled by the sounds of my own body.

"What was that?", I thought last night, my first night, here, jumping up out of bed with the pair of nasty scissors I keep at my side for errant ghostly attacks.

" IS ANYONE THERE? " I demanded in my best Ken-po voice, hanging over the bannister in the dark, scissors at the ready. No reply, not even the creak of a floor or the tink-tink of the metal flue of the big wood stove in the kitchen, as it gave off its last wave of heat before settling into sleep.

At last I had to conclude that it was my stomach gurgling from the effects of a grabbed fast-food dinner on the run, as my daughter and I stopped at a Burger-King on the way here. I hate to confess this, but I like french fries with lots of ketchup. Occasionally. And who knew Burger King had Veggie Burger sandwiches? Not this long-time Japan resident. I was so pleased I've plugged them twice in three sentences, though my daughter was the one to test them. Not gluten-free, I think.

This morning birds woke me up, the light swimming thickly through the windows' winter covering of plastic. I went down crooked wood stairs and cleaned the grate of a wood stove for the first time in about 45 years. I carried the ash pan outside to the back and spread it under a tree. There was a little brook just next to it.

Then, just because it was so pretty here, and I felt like it, I swept the white painted floors with a broom, boiled water on a hot plate, so as not to start up the wood fire for such a small thing, and made coffee with a paper filter in a tea strainer put into a Japanese cup. The coffee I took to the back room where I have set up my computer on a big old wood table.

There I took a little time to look at the old family pictures I spent the last two days scanning at my mother's home. I made a Mother's day card with the two of us at similar ages looking very much alike, wearing what my Dad used to call our "Edward G. Robinson" grins.

And I thought and thought, trying to find a way to keep this wonderful house in our family. I confess I'd love to live here. This perfect life, the one I was praying for, perhaps, lurks just out of financial reach. When I was under one, I didn't know that sometimes a little money can buy happiness.

Oh well, for this week in eden, I don't need much money, just this fresh air, this quiet, this place to cook a few good meals. This sense of home, the epitome of richness. Perhaps my prayers have been answered.